How to be a Mac Genius?
May 10, 2007 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I scored an on-site Mac Genius interview. Now what?

Can you help me figure out what to expect? How best to prepare? My biggest problem is that I have spent my entire life taking apart and troubleshooting Macs, and it's like a second language to me. But like a second language, I can't always explain what it is I'm trying to do: often I can just intuit the correct course of action and make things work. There's no luck to this, just an inability to express why certain ingrained "Mac grammar" is correct. Help!
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That is a sentiment you probably do not want to express to them during your interview. Mac Genius is a customer facing job, so not only do you need to be able to diagnose a Mac, you need to be able to explain what you are doing.

I have a friend who is a Mac Genius in training. I'll ask her what you can expect of the interview and post back.
posted by AaRdVarK at 9:19 AM on May 10, 2007

Definiteing stop by Ungenius, the soapbox for the Ungeniused. It is written by a former genius and although it hasn't been updated recently, you can find lots of info and anecdotes as well as links to other Apple employee related sites.

I worked at Apple for one shift and I can tell you this BE COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH APPLE. BE AN APPLE STEPFORD WIFE. Nothing helps you more in getting a job with Apple than if you are highly highly pro-Apple and love love love their products, philosophy, aesthetic, etc. (Caps necessary).
posted by sneakin at 9:48 AM on May 10, 2007

Definiteing=definitely. Sorry.
posted by sneakin at 9:48 AM on May 10, 2007

I interviewed there for a different (not in the store) position and what really struck me was how much the interview was just about whether you were a power user of OS X. In general, I don't memorize how to do things (just know how to Google everything I need really, really effectively) so I came off as quite a dunce.

I'd say cram terminology. And, yes, especially in a customer service position, being head-over-heels Apple-crazy is an excellent plan.
posted by crinklebat at 11:48 AM on May 10, 2007

Make major system problems seem like minor, fixable bugs.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:53 PM on May 10, 2007

This is not coming from anyone who has experience of being a Genius. Merely one who has been served by them:

Confidence, confidence, confidence with a bit of breeziness. Customers don't just want to have their beloved MacBook / iPod / whatever fixed. They also want to know that you're in control. And that you're the cool MacGuy (possibly TM).
posted by TrashyRambo at 8:39 PM on May 10, 2007

Here's a thread on MacRumors about this.
posted by markdj at 1:40 AM on May 11, 2007

I can tell you this BE COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH APPLE. BE AN APPLE STEPFORD WIFE. Nothing helps you more in getting a job with Apple than if you are highly highly pro-Apple and love love love their products, philosophy, aesthetic, etc. (Caps necessary).

now, while this may have been true in the past, Apple Retail is currently undergoing a major change... for the worse. the retail division is getting too big, too fast and because what Apple is doing has never been done before (they're reinventing retail remember), they haven't quite perfected it. Apple Retail is quickly becoming another Best Buy, Circuit City, etc... a place that will hire anyone just to fill the positions. i recently left Apple and while I love the company, I hate what their retail visioin has become.

when i first started working there, it was like working for Empire Records (the movie). very chill, laid back atmosphere, everyone was extremely excited about the products, the company and just letting the rest of the world know how awesome Apple was. but then they started hiring managers from Target and Kohls who had never owned an Apple product in their life. they were used to dealing with employees who hated their low paying jobs, and the attitude and ideas they brought to the store were the exact opposite of what Apple is all about. they had great RETAIL skills, but completely lacked the PASSION for this company.

then these retail managers started hiring retail employees. my interview with Apple lasted 10 minutes. i wore a tshirt, shorts and flip flops and we pretty much BSed for the entire time. i had no resume and no retail experience. but i did have a sick sick passion for the company. now, they look for retail experience and don't care if you have experience with any apple product... last holiday, they hired one kid who had never used an iPod before...

I ended up leaving Apple after 1.5 years. There was so much retail BS, people who didn't know shit about the products getting promotions based on their previous retail experience, managers sleeping with employees and then firing people based on that 'relationship'... and most recently, the same manager started a movie download site with links to all the latest movies, created it using iWeb, solicited employees to spread links to said site all over the place and when Apple management was made aware of this behavior, they swept it under the rug. /end rant

I still love Apple even if they are making some horrible decisions. Hopefully they'll be able to learn from their mistakes before its too late.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand... if your Genius interview is anything like the ones at our store, get ready for some real odd ball questions. 'How would you design a better...' (sorry, dont want to give away my store's secret questions haha) type stuff. also, don't over dress... everyone who wore suits and ties all got goofed on once they left. khakis and polo maybe... hell, id go shorts and tshirt again, but thats just me. and remember, its not about how much you know... we've had some really smart people working behind the bar who had ZERO people skills. you need to be able to deal with angry customers... maybe go to another Apple Store in your area and just hang out near the genius bar all day... listen to the interactions, see how they get handled. some of the stuff just comes from experience. the more hours you log behind the bar, the better you'll get (assuming you aren't some social retard).

Remember, Apple Retail is constantly changing. Its a learning experience for the company and for its employees... keep that in mind.

Good Luck!!!
posted by hummercash at 6:11 PM on May 11, 2007 [3 favorites]

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